Oh my goodness. I’ve got stories.
It’s been outrageously busy around here, so I’ll just apologize up front- I miss you all, and I miss writing. So this brief respite before summer kicks in is nice and much appreciated.
So we have a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 1 year old (he’s actually about 15 months for those of you who like splitting hairs) and it had been a sweet spot for about two weeks of just really sweet behavior… Then, the other shoe dropped.
Our oldest started this thing where he’ll deliberately pee, anywhere but where he’s supposed to… So that’s been fun.
Our 1 year old can’t decide if he enjoys autonomy or if he’d rather move back into my womb… The emotional whiplash is driving me insane and I keep assuring him option #2 isn’t feasible. And our daughter- well she’s 2. And the middle child. And the only girl. And as unyielding as her Mama and as headstrong as her Papa. It’s going to take a very special, very specific kind of man to marry that one, let me tell you.
So in the midst of all the usual mom-stress, I got hit hard with fatigue. I tend to overwork myself and fail to take time for “self-care”…whatever… I’m still not completely convinced “self-care” isn’t just a term millennial moms made up to justify regular Mani/pedis.
Dripping sarcasm aside, it got to the point where I was just desperate for rest. So I determined to “shut down” and be in bed by 10:30 every night. And for a few days, that worked… Except that the kids would wake up in the middle of the night for various reasons, and then my sleep was ruined. My oldest’s behavior kept getting worse and worse, almost as if he knew I just needed a break but was determined not to let it happen.
Finally, I just prayed, “God, make my son a source of joy for me, because I can’t function like this anymore, and it’s straining our relationship.”
So, God, in his infinite wisdom, caused my boy to wake up before dawn… Every day… For two weeks.
At first, I was like, no I’m not doing this, go back to bed! You can be awake when the sun rises!
But it just kept happening. Like clockwork. Every. Stinking. Morning. The more I fought it, the more exhausted I ended up being that day. Then on about the 3rd day, after my son was re-tucked and snoozing, I remembered my prayer… And so I got up, and I read my Bible, and I spent time in prayer. And it changed my entire perspective. I suddenly had more compassion for the kids, I was able to foresee and prevent melt-downs, and I didn’t just have to act calm. I was calm.
The 4th or 5th day, I stopped putting my son back to bed, and instead, I read Scripture to him, we prayed together, and then just snuggled and talked. It was absolutely precious. And I was exhausted! But satisfied. I no longer felt like I wanted to walk out to check the mail and keep on running… I had peace.
One afternoon last week, I was feeling particularly stressed and as I looked at my non-napping children, I thought back to Jesus feeding the 5,000. And i thought, Christ, how did You do that!? How did You just keep giving and giving of yourself to these needy, belligerent, demanding people day after day and never lose your compassion for them?
And the Scripture that immediately came to mind was, “He keeps in perfect peace those who fear Him.” (Isaiah 26:3)
What a powerful bit of wisdom. Jesus gave continuously of Himself to people who couldn’t offer Him anything in return because it was the Father’s will. And perfect obedience to the Father was worth facing the endless demands of people, because through service, He glorified the Father.
God’s been teaching me to glorify Him and bring Him honor through serving my family well. Not always because I want to, or feel like it, or because they deserve it. But because it is God’s will that by serving and loving and teaching them well the ways of Christ, I lead them to glorify and praise the Father.
I can’t think of anything I’d want more for my kids, even when compared to a full 8 hours of sleep. 😉